Save the Chimps

August 1st, 2010

8-1-10When the U.S. Air Force announced in 1997 that it was no longer going to use chimpanzees for research in their NASA program, Carole Noon, after a year-long battle to gain custody of chimps from the laboratory they were given to, rescued 21chimps and relocated them to the Save the Chimps sanctuary in Fort Pierce, Florida. Over the course of the next few years, chimps from the entertainment business, pet trade and the biomedical research industry were added to the original number.
In 2002 Save the Chimps took over the Coulston Foundation Laboratory in New Mexico and its 266 chimps. Coulston had lost its funding due to violations of the Animal Welfare Act. In one day’s time, Save the Chimps became the world’s largest chimpanzee rescue sanctuary.
Over the past several years nearly half of the Coulston chimps have made their way to their new home at the Fort Pierce sanctuary. A total of 12 islands are now home to these 250 very well cared for chimpanzees.
In one week’s time a chimp will eat an average of 7 pounds of apples, 10 pounds of bananas, 3 pounds of oranges and 4 pounds of tomatoes along with several other types of fruit and vegetables. Monkey chow, oatmeal, pasta and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches round out these herbivore’s menu.
I was the very honored guest of Jocelyn Bezner VMD one Sunday earlier this year. She gave me a personal walking tour around the perimeter of the islands and the interiors of various structures on the grounds. I am one lucky guy, almost as lucky as these chimpanzees.
SaveTheChimps.org is a wonderfully managed website which has creative ways to interact online.

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